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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Robert Jeffress » Robert Jeffress - From Tragedy To Triumph

Robert Jeffress - From Tragedy To Triumph

Robert Jeffress - From Tragedy To Triumph
TOPICS: Easter, Triumph, Resurrection

When it comes to this weekend, a lot of people don't get the point. They recognize it, they give homage to it, but they miss the point. And so I want to take our moments here today to review the point, and I wanna talk to you about "Being Twice Saved". Now, the word saved in the Bible, as in our normal human discussion, means to be delivered or rescued from something or somebody. When you say, "Somebody saved me," they delivered you, they rescued you from a difficult, dangerous, or disastrous situation for which you have been extricated, so you have been saved.

In the Bible, the word saved is used of three realities. Now we typically use it about one reality, but it is thrice used in the Bible, applied to three different realities. And you don't know which reality it's being applied to until you see the context in which the word was used. And sometimes because we're so used to using the Word in one way, we only use it in reference to that one thing when it is used in the Bible about three things. The first way that the word saved is used is relative to our eternal destiny, where you will spend eternity. The third way in which the word saved is used, it is talking about the glorification that a believer receives in heaven.

The second way in between the two, justification and glorification, is historical transformation. So, it's used in three ways. When you use the first one, you get the third one. But when you use the first one, you may or may not get the second one. Everybody who gets justified, the first one, gets glorified, but everybody who gets justified, who gets glorified, does not equally become sanctified. The first and third refer to heaven, the second refers to history. The first and third refer to eternity, the second one refers to time. Since the first equals the third, because the third is guaranteed by the first, if you understand the first, we don't have to spend a lot of time on the third, because the third comes out of the first, but we need to clarify the second.

So, I wanna know, how many times have you been saved? Now, to understand in more detail what I am referring to when I say twice saved, in the book of Romans chapter 5, the apostle Paul talks about the first and second salvation. Now he talks about all three in the book, but in this passage, I wanna make sure you are saved once and saved twice. Verse 6 says, "For while we were still helpless at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For one would hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for the good man, some would dare even to die, but God demonstrated his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us".

It is unfortunate today that people do not take seriously the offense of sin to a holy God. Now, they will throw out statements, "God understands, he knows I'm human". But Paul says that "Our condition apart from God is helpless". He says, "While we were still helpless, that while we were yet sinners". You see, what you have to understand about God is that he cannot compromise his perfection with imperfection. God cannot dumb down his standards just because he loves us. Let me say that again. God can't change his protocol just because he loves us. Verse 8 says, "But God demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us". Here's how you know whether somebody loves you, the price they're willing to pay for you. God loved sinful mankind so much that he was willing to pick up the full tab.

Now, God only has three options given his perfection. The first option is to condemn us. The scripture is clear, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," Romans 6:23. That "There is none righteous, no not one". So God cannot dumb down his standard to rescue us, to save us. The other option is to compromise his righteousness. To say, "Let's skip it". But the problem with that is, if he compromises his just reaction to unrighteousness, then he is compromising his character, and if he compromises his character, he is no longer God. So he would be living in a self-contradictory environment, which means there would be an explosion of the universe because he would no longer be him to compromise his standard. So he can condemn us, he could compromise, or he can make us righteous. What God did on the cross on Good Friday was come up with a plan whereby that God could show his love without compromising his character in order to, here is the technical word, impute righteousness to sinful men. On Good Friday imputation took place.

Now let me change it and say it another way. God changed your credit score. In order to rescue us from eternal judgment, he needed for everybody to have a perfect credit score. The problem is we're imperfect people, so our credit score is not sufficient to warrant heaven. So he gotta change our score, but he can't make up a number. He just can't say, "You have a perfect credit score," it has to be a perfect credit score. Enter his process of salvation, the first salvation to change your score through imputation. How did he do that? 2 Corinthians 5:21 puts it this way, "He who knew no sin became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him".

For 33 years, Jesus Christ lived a perfect life on earth. He had a perfect credit score. He never sinned in thought, in word, or in deed, or as he said, "I've come to fulfill all righteousness". He is the sinless Son of God. "He who knew no sin". Perfect score. On the cross on Good Friday Jesus Christ took the sins of the whole world and took it upon himself, and God judged him as though you were on the cross. He was what we call in theology our substitute, he took our place. On the cross, Jesus Christ paid for the sins of the whole world so God says this. "Anybody who comes to Christ, God will take the credit score of Jesus and place it on their account".

I stand before you with a perfect credit score. Not because I'm a perfect person, but because I have a perfect credit. God has credited the perfection of Jesus Christ to my account so that when God looks at my righteousness account, he sees the score of Jesus that's been credited to my account, because I've placed not faith in me, I've placed faith in him, and because God has transferred the credit from him to me, I stand before God as though I were him. It is the transfer of credit. Here is where a lot of people are confused. They're trying to build their own credit score. The passage says, "While we were helpless". In other words, we could not improve our own score, not with a holy God.

Now you can improve it with your neighbor, you can improve it with the folk you work with, but not to a holy God who demands perfection, he must have a perfect credit score. So if you are trying to make heaven your home, you're in for a big disappointment, because no matter how much better you are this year than you were last year, unless you are perfect, you do not qualify before a perfect God. So to participate in the first salvation which guarantees your heavenly glorification means that you have to come to Jesus Christ apart from works, apart from trying to earn it, apart from trying to deserve it. Unless you can be perfect, you do not qualify for the demands of a holy God. And a lot of people are confused because they think they can earn eternal salvation. It cannot be earned. "By grace are you saved through faith. Not according to works, so that no one will boast".

Ephesians 2:89 says, "He said, 'In order to give you eternal salvation, I have to pick up the tab.'" So if you come to Christ and accept his death as your personal substitute, he will forgive all of your sins, and he will grant you eternal life. So the first thing you need to do is to come to Jesus Christ, acknowledging that you are a sinner, that you need a Savior, and that Jesus Christ is that Savior, and I accept him and him alone as my rescuer, because to be saved is to be rescued from eternal judgment. What about if you are already on your way to heaven? What about if you're already saved in the traditional use of the word? Notice something that's often missed, read over, bypassed, because he says in verse 9, "Much more". Let me hear you say, "Much more". Much more means on top of all that.

Now, he already said in verse 8, "God demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us". He deals with the death of Christ in verses 6 through 8. But now in verse 9 he says, "Much more having now been justified by his blood". Oh, wait a minute. Having been justified, saved in number one, having become a Christian, having accepted Christ, you're now on your way to heaven. The word justified means to be acquitted. It's when God says, "Not guilty". It's when God says, "You've been pardoned". You've been imputed. On top of that, in addition to that, I wanna save you again, twice saved. You know I'm talking about twice saved because he says, "We shall be saved from the wrath of God through him". Watch this, verse 10, "For if while we were enemies," before we became Christians, "We were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more".

There's our two words again, "Having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life". That's the resurrection. He says, "You're justified by his death, but you're saved by his life. We just went from Friday to Sunday 'cause we are justified by his death, but he says, we're saved". The word saved to people who already justified by his resurrected life. This is the second salvation. This is the salvation that he offers to believers. The first one he offers to sinners so that they become believers. The second one he offers to believers related to their life in history, your day-to-day life while you are on your way to glory. Remember, to be saved means to be delivered, to be rescued. What does he save believers from once they become Christians? He says, "I save you from his wrath".

Oh, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute, I know it could be a little confusing. Wait a minute, I thought I was saved from his wrath when I accepted Christ. I'm going to heaven. Oh yes, yeah, absolutely right. You are saved from eternal wrath. He not talking about eternal wrath, he's talking about historical wrath. Now, time will not allow me to go into all the idiosyncrasies of this. When you have a chance, read Romans chapter 1, beginning with verse 18. He says, "The wrath of God has been revealed from heaven, against all unrighteousness". Present tense. You're not talking about hell, you're not talking about Gehenna, you're not talking about the lake of fire. He says, "The wrath of God has been revealed against all unrighteousness". So he, in Romans 1, the same book, is talking about a present wrath. Most of the time we think about eternal wrath, not present wrath.

So let me explain present wrath so that you know how he wants to save you a second time. Present wrath is what we call the passive wrath of God. The active wrath of God is like Sodom and Gomorrah. He came down from heaven and he burned the cities up. That's when he does it directly. He opened up the earth, Korah and his family were judged, the flood, when he let it rain, 40 days and 40 nights, that's the active wrath of God. He does it himself, he brings it, boom. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross provided salvation from eternal wrath, but the passive wrath of God in history still operates. In Romans 1, verse 24, 26 and 28, it says these words in all three of those verses. "And God gave them over, and God gave them over, and God gave them over".

Okay, this is called divine abandonment. This is when God abandons us to the consequences of our sin. Just 'cause you're saved don't mean you don't have consequences. Just 'cause you're saved and on your way to heaven don't mean you can't mess up your life on earth. Just 'cause you are on your way to heaven doesn't mean that you cannot ruin your historical life. The Bible is full of messed up Christians, people who are on their way to heaven, but who are not doing too good in history. The wrath of God in Romans 1 is God's wrath where he allows us to have the consequences of our rebellion. He says, "God gave them over". He released them to the consequences of their abandoning him, and he calls that his wrath. The passive wrath of God is his built in abandonment, not of his love relationship, but of his intimate fellowship, even with his own children. But I have good news, he still wants to save you much more. On top of that, I had a much more situation.

I was eating at some restaurant, and I asked for the check, the bill. The waiter came over to me and said, "Your meal has been paid for. One of the people here said they were a member of your church, and they paid for your meal". So whenever y'all see me in a restaurant, "They paid for your meal". So then I said, "Boy, that's nice. I wish I knew who they were so I could thank 'em". And then, then I said, "Well, let me give you a tip". He said, "No, no, no, much more than paying for your meal, they told me not to let you give the tip, and they gave me a very generous tip". So I got my meal paid for, and my tip was covered. I then go out to get my car, and the restaurant was one of those places where you had to pay for the valet, and so I went to pay the valet, and the valet guy said, "Your car has already been covered". They paid the valet for the car. That's called much, much more. They paid for the car. I went to give him a tip, they said, "No, no, they told me not to let you tip us, and they gave me a generous tip".

On the cross Jesus paid for your meal, but he says twice much more on top of your eternal destiny, he's saying "By his life," his resurrected life, on Friday he died, on Sunday he arose. Okay, but you need to know about Saturday. He didn't skip Saturday because the scripture tells us that on Saturday, he went to hell and proclaimed victory, okay? On Saturday, he went to hell and told Satan, "You lose, we win". He proclaimed defeat in hell, which is why he could lead all the souls of saints to heaven at his resurrection, which is why the Bible says something many Christians don't know. "When Jesus rose from the dead," it says, "A group rose with him and walked the earth with him, to demonstrate the power of his resurrection on earth".

So Jesus proclaimed victory on Saturday based on his death on Friday so that he could be your ongoing deliverer based on Sunday. So guess what? That means your addiction doesn't have the last say, your rebellion doesn't have the last say, the consequences don't have the last say, because he can deliver for believers after you've been saved, number one, to deliver you in salvation, number two. He can do that for you when you are walking with him.

So you go to him for forgiveness, and then you walk with him for deliverance so that he can reverse the curse, change the situation, and I know there's somebody here who can testify, "I had wandered from God, and I needed him to rescue me out of this problem, rescue me out of this difficulty, and he jumped into my pain, jumped into my problem, jumped into my rebellion, jumped into my circumstance, and he turned that thing around". I'm here to tell you, he not only wants to save you for heaven, he wants to save you on the trip to heaven, and he can turn your midnight into dancing. He can turn yesterday's defeat into victory if you'll decide to walk with the Savior who saved you for free because he wants to deliver you much more.

Hello and welcome to Resurrection Sunday, the Sunday that we celebrate the greatest event in human history, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You know what the resurrection means? It means that you're a candidate for victory. You know what it means? It means that the natural forces don't have the last say because God trumped the natural forces of death when he brought Jesus up out of the dead, and Jesus is called the first fruits. In other words, he only got resurrection started. You and I get to continue it because we will be raised to eternal life if we have placed faith in Jesus Christ. So this Resurrection Sunday celebrate, have a Christian party that death no longer carries its sting and no longer controls your future. Christ's resurrection means you can look forward to experiencing your own.
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